HBO host Bill Maher ripped Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (MI-D) support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, questioning whether she will now boycott the Democratic Party given their overwhelming condemnation of the movement.
“Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away,” Bill Maher said. “But here’s the thing, the house voted 318 to 17 to condemn the #BDS movement, including 93% of Dems. Does Tlaib want to boycott 93% of her own party?”
Maher’s comments come days after Tlaib suggested people should boycott his show after he described BDS as a “bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class.”
“It’s predicated on this notion, I think — it’s very shallow thinking — that the Jews in Israel, mostly white, and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct, and the Jews must be wrong,” the Real Time host added. “As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that these completely peaceful people found themselves occupied.”
The remarks enraged Tlaib, who is one of the most vocal supporters of the BDS movement with a detailed history of antisemitism.
“Maybe folks should boycott his show,” Tlaib wrote in response. “I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in [South] Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now.”
Tlaib’s call for a boycott was soon criticized by World Jewish Congress (WJC), who described her disdain for free speech as “deeply disturbing.”
“We find it concerning that a member of the U.S. Congress would lobby for BDS and so easily suggest that Maher’s show should be boycotted simply because he expressed an opinion with which she disagrees,” said WJC President Ronald Lauder.
Maher has long been seen as supportive to Israel, praising President Donald Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, while previously arguing that European countries should “have a little more sympathy for what Israel goes through” in the wake of multiple terrorist attacks.
“I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but it doesn’t happen often, but I do. I don’t know why Israel — it has been their capital since 1949,” he said last January. “It is where their government is. They’ve won all the wars thrown against them. I don’t understand why they don’t get to have their capital where they want.”
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